The workbench has been slow going over the past few days. The Blackhawk is ready for final paint and until I find the spare time to get that accomplished, it’ll stay put. That will likely come this weekend. The A-10 has been the main focus for the week. In all actuality, it is about 99% ready for final paint as well. If it weren’t for an oversight of my own doing, it would be right there with the Blackhawk.
With the lack of detailed reference photos, I overlooked the fact that the back half of the engine nacelles are closed up too. I’m thankful that I caught it before it was too late. The project isn’t a big one with most of it completed already.
With the gun cover finished, I started off last night filling the voids with Silly Putty. I put just enough in so that I wouldn’t be filling the entire nacelle. After the proper depth was established, in came the filler. Both nacelles were filled and leveled off in a matter of minutes. All that was left was to set the aircraft aside and pick it back up tonight.
This evening was another quick session with a minor sanding session to even out the high spots. From there we traveled out to do some priming. It looks rough as it sits. Maybe when the primer dries it will look better. Either way, I have more to address. I will assess the progress tomorrow and add some more filler where it’s needed. My goal is to be finished by the weekend to start final paint.
Another simple session at the workbench tonight with the A-10. The scratch-built cover was further advanced with some sanding and then a rough filling. The sanding from here on will be more of a shaping to form to the nose. Not brain surgery but this could be a killer if I don’t pay attention. Other work for the A-10 was the landing gear heading out for paint and an external fuel tank receiving some primer. I want to start working on weathering the gear struts and wheels so they are ready when they’re needed. Once I can get this cover taken care of, I think I can prepare for final paint.
Scratch-building is such a handy skill to have when you are building models. For those of you that do it regularly, kudos to you. It’s a very time-consuming project to take on but it is certainly essential at times. In my case, the A-10’s iconic gun needs to be covered up.
Never will I claim to be a pro at this but something simple like what is needed, I think I can handle. The first step was to figure out what to use to create the cover. With basic right angles, strip styrene provided the easiest approach. I grabbed a strip of 0.8mm X 4.8mm to begin with. The next and more difficult step was to create the curve of the nose onto the styrene. Here is where a readily available spares box comes in handy. The kit that I pillaged for the nose strut became a much-needed template. Using one of the fuselage halves, I traced the nose onto the styrene to give me a rough idea where to cut.
After the initial piece was trimmed off, I needed an identical match for the second side. A simple trace and cut and we’re moving along now! Once both side pieces were cut and sanded, I glued each to the side of the same size styrene. A front and top piece added with some 1mm X 1.5mm styrene to add some strength and we have a rough-looking cover.
After everything dried, it was time for a dry fit. A little trimming and sanding led to an acceptable fit. Not perfect by any means and I will need to spend a lot more time finishing it, but I am happy with what I made. It is definitely odd to see on the aircraft but it is an essential part to this build.
Starting a new model kit is a great thing. Not only does it mean that you have completed another build to get here, it means that a whole new adventure is beginning. A new world that you control to the very end. How do you want your paint? Camouflage please. It’s all about what you want your kit to become. It’s a platform for the precious imagination to be employed. Freedom in a cardboard box.
If you couldn’t already tell, I have picked my next builds and I am very enthused to do so. These are two that have been on the want-to-do list for a long time. In all actuality, I just recently acquired both kits not too long ago. They’ve been on my watch list on eBay for years and I’ve finally secured them into my collection. So without further ado, let’s get started.
First up is a kit that I have already built in Hasegawa’s F-16I. What I am going for is a Polish F-16D. The F-16 is an aircraft that I can never get tired of building and I like the beefed up variant just as much as the trimmed down one. I’ll be using a set of Techmod decals again, depicting the 2011 Tiger Meet markings. This was a good kit when I built it a few years back so I’m planning on a smoother trip.
The next build will also be a Hasegawa kit. The search for an F-15I has been a frustrating one. They’re definitely out there and readily available, but I don’t want to spend $60.00 and above for it. Decals are another thing and I flat out got lucky with mine. I’ll be using a set of Sky’s Decals and I got them for a steal at $11.00. Other sets that I have rarely come across were $30.00. For decals! For one plane! So all in, with the kit, I’m only at about $25.00. Not a bad savings. Maybe I’m just cheap but that’s more green in my pocket to add to the stash!
Anyway, we have Hasegawa’s F-15E Strike Eagle getting converted to an F-15I Raam. I am a huge fan of anything IDF so this is right up my alley. I have a couple of IDF weapons sets that I plan on utilizing where I can. My research hasn’t been done yet so I don’t know what kind of ordinance we’re looking at here. No doubt this should be a fun set of builds.
The Hind was front and center this weekend with all efforts being exhausted to pass it along to the display shelves. I can happily report that we are almost there. With just a few more minor details to take care of, I will be revealing the fruits of my labor tomorrow. Secondary efforts were shared by the A-10 and Blackhawk equally. It was a good sanding session and out to primer for both builds. The A-10 took a step further and I clipped the landing gear and bay doors to get them prepared for painting. I will need to weather these parts extensively so I will work on them early on to get the right look. Also, I noticed that the nose strut is broken with one half missing in action. I have an old Monogram kit that I can “borrow” from for that remedy. Both kits are looking like they will transition over to paint soon and I couldn’t be happier. It’s almost time to start thinking about what’s next. I have two in mind but who knows?
Another breakthrough happened at the workbench last night. The Blackhawk, in all its struggles, finally returned to actually being built. My sanding from the previous night proved to be successful and that allowed me to start adding a few more parts to the fuselage. Basic engine work, the stabilizer, and external fuel tanks were roughly worked on. They will need a good sanding and some primer to see where I stand. Regardless, I’m very grateful to be at this point now.
The rest of the night was spent adding more filler to the A-10’s wing roots and canopy. Not a whole bunch of excitement there. The Hind was weathered which was exciting. I’m hoping to begin final assembly tonight.